Melton Town held at fellow promotion hopefuls Bugbrooke

In a game of few clear chances, Zak Munton went closest for Town, but was denied by a point-blank save
In a game of few clear chances, Zak Munton went closest for Town, but was denied by a point-blank save
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Melton Town were held to a point at Bugbrooke on Saturday as two of the division’s best defences forced a goalless draw.

Both teams have promotion aspirations this season, and the game was as tight as had been expected, becoming as tactical as a chess match early on as the defences won their battles.

The first real chance of any note came 17 minutes in when Green’s corner led to a scramble in the Melton defence, and Adams eventually got a shot in which was turned around the post.

The resulting corner found Porter unmarked at the back post, but his header was poorly-executed and sailed well wide.

Bugbrooke had a big call for handball when another melee in the area appeared to hit an arm, but the protests were waved away by the referee.

Melton’s first effort on target came in the 26th minute when Nathan Benjamin used his pace down the line and played a ball to Zak Munton.

Town’s leading scorer cut in from the byline and let fly with a low shot from an acute angle which forced Aguilar to get down at his near post to prevent a goal.

Minutes later Leon Fray made a run out of defence and played the ball out wide to Jordan Lever. The winger moved into the box and tried his luck, but Aguilar saved the shot comfortably.

With half-time approaching, Storey’s cross had the Bugbrooke defence scrambling to clear at the back post.

Munton sneaked in and from three yards connected powerfully, only for the keeper to save from point-blank range.

Bugbrooke then went up the other end of the pitch and forced a free-kick. The set-piece found Caton free on the edge of the six-yard box, but skipper Rob Peet tipped over his powerful header.

The second half was as scruffy an affair as the first, with both defences shutting out any potential attacks.

Player-manager Tom Manship’s through-ball found Munton whose one-two with Nathan Arnold resulted in a shot which Aguilar saved well.

Bugbrooke then had their best chance of the game with 20 minutes left.

Adams went clean through the defence and found himself one-on-one with Peet who dived at his feet to prevent a certain goal.

The last chance fell to the visitors when Tom Harris made a run down the left wing and played the ball back to Lever whose 25-yard shot went inches wide.

While there was no late winner there was some incident with Manship shown a red card.

Melton have the tightest defence in the division, and took their tally to seven clean sheets in nine league games.

They make another trip into Northamptonshire on Tuesday evening when they take on Raunds (7.45pm ko) before hosting third-placed Aylestone Park at the Signright on Saturday (3pm).

Town: Peet, Beaver, Benjamin, Manship, Gilchrist, Fray, Storey (Harris), Hibbitt, Munton, Arnold, Lever.